Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Thoughts after a year of Sling TV

We've had Sling TV for well over a year. The first time I talked about it, I was super obsessed with HGTV and not much has changed, but I wanted to do a full post on it in case you were considering cutting the cable cord.

Thoughts after a year of Sling TV - a much cheaper alternative to cable

First, a little background. I never had cable growing up. I'm much more of a DVD kinda gal. KC did, so it was a bit of an adjustment when we moved out. I had gotten used to having cable when I lived with them as well, aka I had gotten used to say yes to the dress and HGTV. We briefly looked into cable, but holy expensive.

We are way more into the internet as a whole, I know some people couldn't survive without cable, we could not survive without internet. Well we could, but then we'd most likely kill each other. So we chose great internet, no cable. We had his dad's log in to something or other so KC could watch some sports, or we would go to friends/his mom's house if he just had to watch something. When we moved out of the apartment and into the house, we looked into it again, still just as expensive, but this time we decided to go ahead and do it.. but AT&T never showed up to install it (twice) so we just cancelled it before it had begun.

Then we discovered Sling. It was like the cable gods heard me say 'I would totally pay $10 for HGTV per month' and KC saying 'I would totally pay $10 a month for ESPN'. Would you look at that, Sling has both HGTV and ESPN and it's only $20 something a month.

Thoughts after a year of Sling TV - the channels offered on the basic $20 a month package

Their slogan is take back tv. No hidden fees, no long term contracts.

Thoughts after a year of Sling TV - their mission statement. Take Back TV!

You can add extras (at a price, of course).

Thoughts after a year of Sling TV - Extras available with Sling TV

So what's the catch? Well, honestly, there really isn't a catch. There is nothing that you'll be kicking yourself about, in my opinon. But there are definite pros and cons.

Pros:

Um, it is $20 a month. TWENTY. How much do you pay for cable?

It is $20 a month, did I mention that?

You can rewind! Some of the channels. Look, I'll be honest, I am in a monogamous TV relationship with HGTV and I don't stray. I do know you can't rewind on ESPN because KC has tried it, but on HGTV I can go back like 5 days or something, which means there is always something on.

It's available anywhere. I can log in at work and watch HGTV if I want. Computer, TV, xbox, phone. I don't have an ipad but I'm sure it's on that too.

No set up, no cancellation fees, no contract. Can your cable say that?

It's by Dish so it's not some crazy weird company you've never heard of.

New channels all the time. They are adding new channels all the time, and sometimes we get HBO or whatever for a week or something. Like I said, I'm married to HGTV but I think I have seen new channels because I have to scroll further to the right to get to HGTV now.

Cons:

One device at a time. This isn't a big deal because up until recently we only had one TV,  but generally KC and I don't fight over what to watch. I do get pretty cranky around football season when I just want to watch some bloody HGTV, but now I can go into the other room (and take the amazon fire stick with me) and KC can watch football on normal TV, because I think it's on normal TV, right? Anyway, so this might be an issue for you if you want to watch HGTV and someone else wants to watch ESPN. They do have another service that allows multiple devices to stream at one time, but I don't really get the difference apart from that and our service works fine, so...

Connection. This is a pretty big one... we have pretty damn good internet but sometimes if we are downloading or if we have multiple devices going, the sling app will get all distorted and blurry. It usually rights itself within like 10-20 seconds, and it doesn't bother me on HGTV but it might bother you when watching a serious sport thing.

Connection 2: This is a different issue but I don't know what to call them because techie I am not. Sometimes we will click on the sling app, and it will show us the loading screen and then kick us out, like 5 times. We restart our amazon fire stick thingy and it normally fixes it. It's annoying, but not life threatening, again I'm sure it would be way more annoying if you super wanted/had to watch something right this very minute.

For both of these connection issues, honestly, they were fairly bad when we first got Sling, but it rarely happens anymore.

No DVR. Not a big deal to me, might be for you.

Lack of certain channels. Again, not a big deal for me, but if you don't see your favourite channel (bravo, E, etc) that might be a deal breaker for you.

Smart TV / Amazon fire stick - this isn't really slings fault, but it is annoying all the same. We just got a new tv a couple months ago, and it's one of those smart doodads- we have a netflix button on our remote, how cool is that? We also have other app thingys, but not sling. womp. womp. womp. That really annoys me because I HATE the amazon fire stick. It is so annoying. But, it's a small annoyance for having such a cool service like sling. I hope that somehow sling is added to our tv down the line, but I don't know if that's a thing. The reason I don't like the amazon fire stick is because it's small and annoying. It works fine and all that.

So are you interested in Sling?

What are your options? Well, first off, you can do a free 7 day trial! You do have to put in credit card details and such, but you can just cancel online before the 7 days are up if it's not your jam.

Here is what we did: we signed up for the free 7 day trial and realised we had no way to watch it on our TV. You need some sort of something in between, like an amazon fire stick or a roku tv. So I jumped back online and realised they were offering a free amazon fire stick, all you had to do was pay for 3 months up front, so we did, and we've been happy sling tv watchers ever since. But now, alas, no free fire stick.

But, you can get $50 off the amazon fire tv thingy, which is $100, so you only pay $50. Click here to get this deal.

Thoughts after a year of Sling TV - get $50 off the amazon fire tv


Or you can buy an amazon fire stick thingy, which is what we have. It's only $40. You wouldn't have to pay for 3 months up front if you did this.

Thoughts after a year of Sling TV - we use the amazon fire stick, which is only $40

If you don't want to go with amazon, they have roku deals:

Thoughts after a year of Sling TV - Roku deals with Sling TV

I obviously don't know anything about roku so I can't give you my opinion on that.

All of these deals are for new customers by the way, so when we got the amazon fire stick after doing our free trial, we had to switch email addresses to become 'new' customers, if that makes sense.

Pricing - I know I keep saying it is $20 a month, but with taxes or whatever else, it's $21.07.

Now, if you are happy with cable or you have no desire to get sling, or you have some other sort of service, whatever, that's cool, I'm just sharing our experience and how much we still love sling. Obviously this is 100% not sponsored, I get zero anything for talking about it, we pay for this service every month and will continue to do so unless they get rid of HGTV.

We also have Netflix, which is less than $10 a month, and we normally use this for TV shows and some movies, but we definitely use Sling more because it feels more like 'real TV'. You know?

It might not be as good as cable in some aspects, but for $20... It's pretty good.


48 comments:

  1. I remember when you first talked about this, and we have a fire stick so I always see the little adverts for sling, but have never really thought about it. We've been talking a lot about switching from cable to something else, so this has so much good info! I love that you don't have to sign a contract and commit to something or deal with the hassle of traditional cable companies!

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  2. This is interesting! I'm also a cable cutter and currently use Netflix and Hulu for TV watching. I do miss having HGTV and ESPN though. We have amazon fire which I love so I might have to look more into it and try it out!

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  3. I vaguely remember you talking about this when you guys first got it and I'm so glad that you are loving it!! We just got a new lower rate for our cable because of our move, but Gary goes to town on trying to get our bill lower every year LOL! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

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  4. yay girl. i totally would do it but i have cable for bravo. but i believe i saw that a few months ago that they have it. debating for sure! this is a great review and it def covers everything i'd be worried about. oh you may have convinced me ha

    xoxo cheshire kat

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  5. We tried Sling for about 4 months. The last 2 months the app would. not. load. It wouldn't load on anything--Roku, laptop, phone, computer at work. I called and called customer service and they said it was a tech issue that should resolve itself. It never resolved itself. So, I gave up on Sling. I was really excited about the concept, but (for me) the execution needs a lot of work.

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  6. I've not heard of Sling, so this was fascinating and a great resource. I know a lot of people that would be interested in this, so thanks!!

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  7. "amazon stick thingy" LOL that made me laugh.

    if we didn't get our tv for free, I'd definitely be on the netflix train.

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  8. We have the same conversation as you ALL the time. There are only a few cable channels we want but to get them we have to pay $1000 per month (approx) and get an extra 563 channels we don't want. (That number may be exact.) I love the concept of Sling but the no DVR would def be an issue, as well as the connection issues since there are four of us here. Keep us posted when they make some modifications to their service!

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  9. First of all... I'm oddly proud of myself for recognizing the George of the Jungle gif. It's probably been over 10 years since I've seen that movie! Ha!

    I have tried to get my husband let go of cable, but he loves HGTV, too. And some shows on Velocity (a car channel). We have a smart TV and we have Netflix/hulu/Amazon Prime account, but we STILL have cable. Now that I've typed all that out it sounds totally ridiculous. Ugh. Haha.

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  10. is your Smart TV a Samsung? There's basically an app store built in and you can search it for Sling, if they have a TV app available. I had to do that to watch a digital copy of a DVD that I stole from my mom :) I would be really open to this because I only need a few channels, but my husband is football obsessed and MUST have the stupid Directv package for every game in the fall. I also think I would miss stumbling on favorite movies - one of the few joys of cable!

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  11. This is awesome, I had no idea about this service. I'm pretty much married to the DVR, so I don't think I could give that up, but it's nice to know that this option is available if we ever want to save a few more bucks!

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  12. Interesting. I would LOVE to cancel cable. Unfortunately I am a lame-o sucker for Hallmark Christmas movies. They are SO BAD but I love them, and they don't exist on any streaming devices other than Feeln - but there isn't a great selection. Sending this to KC anyhow though. Glad it's working for you guys! :) XO - Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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  13. We had Sling for awhile but then Playstation came out with Playstation now so Chris cancelled Sling and now we use that. It was a great service though and I appreciated the price a lot more than Direct TV that we had before and never watched!

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  14. Dang $20 that's amazing!! Unfortunately between griffin and I we watch way too many things and record way too much haha! We just got an Amazon Fire stick though and I'm excited to try it out!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

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  15. I love the Roku.

    We don't use Sling right now, but MFD frequently wants to. I feel like I should get rid of Hulu and CBS All Access if I do that, which is a possibility.

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  16. A coworker of mine is obsessed with her sling tv, but I think that we might be too much of cable people to make the switch. Plus I think that my sister would kill me because she totally capitalizes on us having cable and her not, and just steals all of my passwords. I really think that she's the smart one in this case...

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  17. Our cable bill has gotten RIDONKULOUS!!!!!!! We have our security system through Time Warner as well but we pay well over $200 a month. STUPID CRAZY
    I'm telling Ricky about this... though I think I would have withdrawals from Bravo & my real housewives

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  18. Cable is so expensive! Thankfully it's included in our maintenance fee - if not, I would totally look into this too!

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  19. I've never heard of this but wow you can't beat that price!

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  20. We did the free trial of Sling TV a while back and liked it but didn't go with it. We have an Apple TV and can watch pretty much anything we want with Will's parents cable log in. Illegal, yes. But until they crack down we are going with the FREE plan!

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  21. I haven't heard of these guys! We're super luck in that hubs' company pays for the highest speed internet PLUS a 5G iPhone wifi signal for us (yes our laptops and phones run on each their own signal, lol!) so we fork over the cash for Dish. I can't live without HBO and FX in the same way you can't live without internet... We pay like $170 /mo but when we're getting the same amount in free internet it's all good, you know?

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  22. I haven't heard of these guys! We're super luck in that hubs' company pays for the highest speed internet PLUS a 5G iPhone wifi signal for us (yes our laptops and phones run on each their own signal, lol!) so we fork over the cash for Dish. I can't live without HBO and FX in the same way you can't live without internet... We pay like $170 /mo but when we're getting the same amount in free internet it's all good, you know?

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  23. I haven't heard much about Sling TV so this was an interesting read. Between Hulu & Netflix (and local channels for the news & sports), we feel like we have plenty to watch. Thankfully Netflix has some HGTV shows so we get to watch those (because like you - we love HGTV), but they aren't the most recent shows or anything. I may mention this to Christopher, though. I know he'd love the History channel and ESPN... and we'd both love HGTV and the Food Network! Thanks for your honest review!

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  24. I can't believe people still pay for cable! When we moved to our new house after we built we decided no cable. We use Netflix and Hulu & have a Smart Tv, Apple TV, and Chromecast, all of which we paid less for than cable! You can get virtually anything online these days so why pay for silly cable!

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  25. I was actually just thinking about Sling the other day because it's on my Roku - you just can't remove certain apps or whatever - and realized I haven't thought about it in a while even though I meant to look into it ages ago. As of now I think I have plenty of non-TV TV, what with Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBOGO (thanks to my mom's login info, hah!) and Hulu now (thanks to David's login info haha). If I ever got rid of I think 2 of those or I moved in with someone Sling would be the way to go though. I haven't looked into cable prices in a long time but I can only imagine it's more expensive now than it was when I last looked 2 years ago. Not worth it!

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  26. This is fantastic! We realllllly need to cut back on cable, it disgusts me how the bill continues to go up and up for no reason! We even lowered our package a few months ago, and because of increases we're back to where we were if not more anyway.
    Green Fashionista

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  27. I've been curious about Sling for a long time, so I'm glad to hear you like it. Do you mind sharing how much you pay for Internet? I'm curious how much it would be if we got rid of cable. :)

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  28. Not only do I have cable with a zillion extra channels, I have Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. I am a TV hoarder and I need help. I periodically reevaluate and try to cancel things but I panic and keep it all! Hahahah! Help me!

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  29. We never watch TV. ever! lol We do have Hulu and Netflix though and LOVE every second of it. They are wonderful and 100% a better option that cable.

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  30. This is such a cool concept - I can't believe I've never even heard of it! I'm happy to hear you've enjoyed it so much - definitely keeping this in mind!

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  31. My cable company is a nightmare, so this sounds like a good option!

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  32. Wait, you can rewind it up to FIVE DAYS?! that is brilliant!

    We have foxtel and have done since it launched in Aus (I remember being the only kid at school who had Nickelodeon or disney channel) but Jesse and I never watch it. We're Netflix bingers through and through :P

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  33. I wish we could get that here, but we can't. So no HGTV for me :( We even have a rubbish version of Netflix too, and they stopped you being able to VPN into the US version. Wahh! The tv here is mostly rubbish so we don't have a tv at all. I don't miss it!

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  34. Caleb and I didn't have cable the first year we were married... then we got it but its honestly not crazy expensive. We bundle it with our internet and love it! We don't have DVR but I have told Caleb I think we need to get rid of cable until we're out of debt. Even though its not crazy expensive, that's still money that could be saved!

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  35. I've never heard of this before!!! We are just like you guys - only watching like 5 channels and HGTV obviously being one of them - but our cable bill is like an outrageous $150 a month. I would miss DVR, but if you can rewind then it wouldn't be so bad. I need to check this out!!!

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  36. We so so need to cut the cable cord! But live sports keeps is hanging on... I keep hoping there will be better options soon!

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  37. So we have the most basic cab;e package just bc it keeps our internet (bundled package) price low. We looked into some of the other options and canceling our cable, but it made our internet go through the roof. Go figure!! :)

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  38. I'm SO curious about this, because the only reason I keep the cable around is for the sports. I'm going to leave it up to Greg, since I'm not working at the moment and he'll be paying the bill, but I never watch cable. I watch Netflix or Hulu when I subscribe to it and that's about it. Greg watches sports, though, so I'm curious how the ESPN network on Sling is for those. Do you get all the football games during football season? And the Olympics and stuff? I'm an HGTV watcher, too, when I watch live TV. Our cable/internet bill is $120 and I think it's ridiculous.

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  39. This is super cool. Not sure if it wold work for us only because of the one device issue but otherwise it sounds amazing!

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  40. I think this is a great idea for those people not wanting to spend a fortune on TV. Also, you just made me miss brendan fraser!

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  41. I have not had cable in nearly 2 years and I haven't really missed it. Like you said SO expensive! The only think I can't watch is Big Bang Theory and now some of my CW shows since they broke up with Hulu, but still overall it's not worth the cost to get cable again.

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  42. We just cancelled Sling. The quality was terrible for us! The screen was really grainy and if we were watching a sporting event, it was so bad, you couldn't even read the score. I'm glad it's worked out for you though. We had to suck it up and go back to cable because it was so bad.

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  43. We tried and disliked Roku. We currently have chromecast and like that much better.. it is not the perfect solution but we don't get a lot of tv watching time right now and are often just watching on our phones or tablets.. so it works for us for now.

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  44. This sounds really cool! We don't have cable either but my biggest pet peeve when we did was how much more money we had to pay every month just to get extra channels like HGTV (also my fav!!). Now we just have Netflix and 4 basic/local channels we get with a digital antenna (like futuristic rabbit ears lol). Now let's see how long it takes Canada to ever get something like this.... ;)

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  45. This is so inspiring! I love the post:)

    irenethayer.com

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  46. I have never heard of such thing! We pay almost $60 for cable and honestly we barely watch it. But we don't have internet service so we don't have that bill. We just have it on our phones. I like to watch the news and I wish I had more time for HGTV and some other stupid reality shows lol. Michael watches some hunting shows (if he's ever home) and Remington watches a couple cartoons. Although she typically watches Mickey on DVR so without that, I don't think we could survive. But, I will definitely keep this in mind because you never know! Thanks for sharing!

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  47. I was against this at first because my biggest hold on cable is probably AMC (for The Walking Dead) and now it looks like they've added AMC to the lineup! DVR might be a tough thing to cut when fall TV comes back but this would save a lot of money!

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